CHANCE HAS NO EMPATHY is the newest film from writer-director Gabriel Saint (Here in the Dark, JK’s House). It stars Will Rothhaar (Enough About You), Brooke Culbertson (Wicked Enigma), Michael Rothhaar (Shooter), Nancy Linehan Charles (Young Sheldon), and Maddisyn Carter (Melody).
The movie opens with the quote, “An artist is a creative driven by demons. He doesn’t know why they chose him and is usually too busy to wonder why.” With that setup, we’re introduced to Chance, a tortured painter who is searching for his muse. He’s desperate to find that one glimpse of an idea that will spark creativity.
Chance finds inspiration in Charlie, one of his art models, but Charlie suddenly stops modeling. As Charlie works on a paper about sociopaths and psychotics, she begins to realize that Chance exhibits these symptoms (see the title of the film) and she worries he may be hiding his true nature. Chance starts to spy on his former model—and begins to feel more and more driven to capture his inspiration, no matter the cost.
Although the concept of the film is promising, there isn’t enough material to make the film consistently interesting. There are moments of clarity when Chance wanders around looking for inspiration, providing the audiences with some gorgeous nature shots. We see what Chance could paint, but he’s so focused on Charlie that he can’t manage to create anything.
The music is distracting and paired with the editing style of the film, it often feels like an episode of CSI. The acting is lackluster, the dialogue is sometimes corny. It’s an uneven watch.
The sets are average; the apartments in CHANCE HAS NO EMPATHY are full of grey and black. There is some nice, professional camerawork that captures the dark mood of Chance’s story.
Chance has voice-overs that are engrossing but repetitive. And he’s a vexing main character—he’s sometimes intellectual and meditative, but he’s also painfully self-important. He’s the portrait of a sociopath played with little nuance. Instead, the film introduces broad ideas about creativity and artistry.
CHANCE HAS NO EMPATHY is a film with thoughtful ideas and a wearisome production. Although it has some flaws, it’s worth a watch for the suspense of waiting to see what Chance’s demons will make him do next.